Forest County Land Conservation Department has been working on ways to provide farmers and agriculture producers with basic information regarding state regulation which may affect their operations. A cost-share program is a method for sharing installation costs for non-point source pollution controls between a governmental entity and a farmer. This program provides reimbursement for up to 70% of your costs! 

      More than 90 percent of farms in the U.S. are classified as small, with a gross cash farm income of $250,000, or less. These farms, most of which are family-owned and operated, confront considerable challenges due to current trends, such as increased movement into cities, an aging population, farm consolidation, and changing weather patterns. Forest County has its own unique challenges for small farms including very limited markets, long distances to suppliers, short growing seasons, and challenging soil conditions. 

      Small farms like yours are vital to our economy and well-being as a county and a nation. Not only do they support the competitiveness and sustainability of rural and farm economies, they serve to protect our natural resources, provide local food sources, and maintain our population! 

      As a farmer or agricultural producer, you do have a substantial liability in regard to state statutes with special attention to soil erosion and water quality. Two primary statutes that affect your operations are, Chapter NR 15 RUNOFF MANAGEMENT and Chapter ATCP 50 – SOIL AND WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM. 

      Wisconsin DNR is primarily responsible for adopting performance standards to prevent pollution runoff from farms. The department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection (DATCP) must prescribe conservation practices to implement the DNR performance standards. DATCP must also establish soil conservation and farm nutrient management requirements. ATCP 50 spells out a single set of farm conservation practices that incorporates DNR performance standards by reference. Counties play a major role in implementing conservation practices on farms. Conservation requirements are contingent on cost-sharing. The Forest County Land Conservation Department has contacts with State and Federal Agencies to provide resources and cost sharing to assist you in meeting the requirements of the State Laws. 

      The following are some practices that qualify for cost share assistance that may apply to you: 

  • ATCP 50.68 Cover Crop
  • ATCP 50.62 Manure storage systems 
  • ATCP 50.64 Barnyard runoff control systems 
  • ATCP 50.65 Access Road 
  • ATCP 50.70 Diversions 
  • ATCP 50.705 Feed storage runoff control systems 
  • ATCP 50.71 Field Windbreaks 
  • ATCP 50.72 Filter Strips 
  • ATCP 50.73 Grade stabilization structures 
  • ATCP 50.75 Livestock feeding 
  • ATCP 50.76 Livestock watering facility 
  • ATCP 50.78 Nutrient management 
  • ATCP 50.79 Pesticide management 

      Please contact us if you would like to discuss the applicable regulations, cost share programs or schedule a “No hassle” visit.

For more information contact:

Steve Kircher, County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director at (715) 478-1387 or by e-mail at or Cassidy Neilitz, Land Conservation Technician at (715) 478-1387 or by e-mail at